Mark Anderson was a really great person to chat with earlier this year on the Murfie Podcast. He plays percussion in Paper Bird, a harmonious seven-piece band that’s gaining more and more national buzz each day. Here’s a transcript of our interview, and another chance to dig in to the interesting world of up-and-coming music.
INTRO: This is Kayla here, with your Murfie podcast, right from murfie.com: the world’s largest used and new CD store online. So, one band that I’m really diggin’ right now is Paper Bird. They’re a seven-piece indie folk band from Colorado. I had a chat with one of the band members, Mark, right after they released their new album, Rooms.
[MUSIC: “As I Am” by Paper Bird]
Kayla: Alright, so right now I have Mark on the phone, from Paper Bird. Where are you calling from?
Mark: I’m just calling from my apartment in Denver, Colorado.
Kayla: Ok, yes, I saw that you guys are from Colorado, and I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about that place. So, are a lot of people in the band from Colorado, originally, or did you guys end up there?
Mark: Um, most of us are from here, originally. Some of us were born other places—like Sarah, my sister, and I, were born in Ohio, but moved here when we were really young—and then a couple of members were born in Texas. But all of us say we’re from Colorado—it’s where we grew up.
Kayla: Right—it’s your home, totally! You and Sarah are brother and sister—I did not know that.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. There’s another set of siblings in the band, too: Genny and Esme are sisters.
Kayla: Oh, awesome! That’s fun.
Kayla: How did you all meet each other?
Mark: Well, we’ve known each other for a long time—it kind of was a culmination of coincidence and then also just like, common interest. Like, we all moved to Denver—um, god, I don’t know, we’ve lived in Denver for a long time. And I think just like, through random acquaintances, and some people through school and things like that, a loose group of us started getting together—and then music is what pulled us in farther, and slowly our friendships culminated into the band, and we’ve been doing it for like, six years now.
Kayla: That’s the best way to get started, you know—the music brings you together, the common interests. And you guys have developed a really unique sound, because basically everybody in the band contributes to writing songs and that sort of thing; so is that how it usually works? Do you guys kind of come to each other and say, “I have an idea for a song,” and then do you work on it together?
It’s Halloweeeen time! Even though it’s not the 31st, it’s safe to say that many folks will be celebrating the year’s spookiest holiday this weekend.
Our staffers have some great Halloween album picks for you, along with great stories to share (with pictures)!
Name: Gao Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Thriller (by Michael Jackson) has always been a favorite. In fact, my family did the Thriller dance at my sister’s wedding reception. Best Halloween costume ever: My sisters made me a dinosaur costume one year. They even built a tail! I stomped around and called myself Gaozilla. What I plan to dress up as this year: This is the first year I’ve bought a costume and didn’t make it. I’ll be a pirate. ARGH!
Name: Daniella Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas by Danny Elfman. Best Halloween costume ever: Nerd costumes have included Companion Cube (from Portal), Cthulhu, Harry Potter, and more nerdiness… What I plan to dress up as this year: This year I’m going as Lumpy Space Princess (assuming I can find myself a purple beehive wig).
Name: Tiffany Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde. Best Halloween costume ever: It’s a toss-up between Poison Ivy, Medusa, and a dead woman. I don’t have a digital picture of any of those, but I’ve got a picture of my costume as the Moon a few years back. What I plan to dress up as this year: Not sure yet. And even if I knew, I never reveal my costumes before Halloween.
Name: Zach Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Scary Sound Effects (because I remember ripping it). Best Halloween costume ever: Rorschach because I have a mask with an ink blot that warps because of the temperature of your breathing vs. the cold air. What I plan to dress up as this year: I’ll probably hand out candy.
Name: John Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Litanies of Satan by Diamanda Galàs (Close second: Schrei X). Best Halloween costume ever: A few years ago, my band Fambly Fun! performed a Halloween show as Will Smith. That’s right, we had FIVE Will Smiths. We played all the classics from Big Willie Style and Willennium, and even Willow Smith’s then-new “Whip My Hair.” It was a ton of fun. What I plan to dress up as this year: I like to dress up as something timely, yet unexpected. Last year, I dressed up as the Russian feminist punk rock protest band Pussy Riot. This year, who knows!
Name: Steve Favorite album for fall/Halloween:John Denver, classic fall Americana. Best Halloween costume ever: I went as a Power Ranger when I was about 9. I had a glove that makes karate chop noises when you squeezed the thumb to the rest of the fingers. It was sooooo freaking cool. What I plan to dress up as this year: The Man in the Yellow Hat. My girlfriend is going as Curious George.
Name: Noah Favorite album for fall/Halloween: Halloween’s all about the movies, right? And what’s a better combination than Bernard Herrmann’s unforgettable scores to Alfred Hitchcock’s most terrifying movies. Best Halloween costume ever: I went as Sally Bowles from Cabaret, but the makeup ended up looking a bit like Malcolm McDowell from A Clockwork Orange. It kind of worked anyway. What I plan to dress up as this year: I’m thinking of going as a Mondrian painting, but I have a habit of changing my mind at the last minute.
Name: Matt Favorite album for fall/Halloween:Watermark by Enya (music for relaxing until Halloween is over). Best Halloween costume ever: I’ll be the party pooper in the group and go on the record that I’ve never really enjoyed dressing up for Halloween—not as a kid, and certainly not as an adult. I find it a bit disturbing that Halloween has become a bigger draw for adults than children. If Halloween need be celebrated at all, at least let the kids regain the run of things. What I plan to dress up as this year: I’m not planning to dress up again this year, for obvious reasons.
Name: Marc Favorite album for fall/Halloween:The Good, the Bad & the Queen. Meticulously somber, strolling music for when chill winds throw leaves past your feet. Best Halloween costume ever: A few years over the past decade I’ve iterated a costume inspired by a recurrent nightmare I used to have. I once made a bellhop at the Concourse jump back as I crept along the street. What I plan to dress up as this year: Probably no costume, since I probably won’t have the time to put into making one.
Name: Preston Favorite album for fall/Halloween:October Project:) Best Halloween costume ever: My best? That was Satan working to recruit a manager ready to to Sell Their Soul to get in “Below Ground Level!!” managing the exclusive franchise I had just negotiated to open a line of Starbucks cafes in The 9th Circle of Hell. My pitch was that it’s “…the only place in the universe where another Starbucks can possibly improve the neighborhood.” It was a play on a joke in this animation, but you might want to watch the whole set for context. What I plan to dress up as this year: It’ll be a game day decision. One possibility is that I’ll dress in a suit with a giant American flag lapel clip holding a pacifier on a red, white, and blue ribbon, with “I <3 Ayn Rand” stenciled on an Elephant on a T-shirt underneath. I’ll blackmail people into giving me some of their candy by threatening to do something that would embarrass us both. If they foolishly give me candy, I’ll come back later, scream and cry loud enough to be heard that they have way too much candy, and whine that they won’t negotiate with me to meet me part way and give me some of the rest. Ideally, this will be a team costume and include someone who plays the world’s tiniest violin each time I don’t get what I want. If things go poorly for them, I might also just go as The Ghost of The Republican Party, or conversely if democrats cooperate in sacking the poor, I might be an old person looking for information on which cat food tastes best.
Name: Leah Favorite album for fall/Halloween: Something about Nick Drake is just perfect for an autumn stroll. Best Halloween costume ever: A tie between Pam from the Office (I found Jim on State St!) and a Frenchman (fake cigarette, I promise). Oh and I went as an old woman when I was in second or third grade, which was hilarious. What I plan to dress up as this year: A flower :D I found directions for an awesome DIY flower headpiece thing online, and my rest of the body will be the stem – a “Leahlac”, you might say.
Name: Tyler Favorite album for fall/Halloween:For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver. An album to listen to bundled up with your favorite blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. Best Halloween costume ever: Don’t know what the name of the costume is, but I was dressed as a headless guy who was carrying his own head in his hands and the head was my head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture :(
What I plan to dress up as this year: I’ll be handing out candy this year, so no dressing up for me. But our two dogs will be dressed in Packer uniforms!
Name: Kayla Favorite album for fall/Halloween: Anything with The Monster Mash. Best Halloween costume ever: Probably last year when I was a strawberry, since I made the costume by myself. The only thing is, everyone thought I was a watermelon—even though I had yellow seeds! =\ Some other notable costumes: Esmeralda, Avril Lavigne, and Zombie Tinkerbell. What I plan to dress up as this year:Amy Winehouse (I bought a wig!). I’ll have fake tattoos, thick eyeliner, an empty bottle of Jack, and all that good stuff. My roommate and I are planning on having a séance for her on the 31st.
Big thank you to all the moms who had fun picking out pictures for this post! Have a fun and safe Halloween, everyone!
It’s easy to get hooked on the sweet harmonies sung by Paper Bird, and it’s fun to flow with the rich instrumental layers in their music. With their “joyful blend of folk, roots, and Americana“, this seven-piece band from Colorado is quickly rising to the top. Here’s an interesting interview with the band’s percussionist, Mark Anderson.
Who: Mark Anderson; interviewed by Kayla Liederbach What: Mark discusses Paper Bird, the new album Rooms, Colorado, Red Rocks, guilty pleasure pop music, Justin Bieber getting boo’ed, and more Where: Murfie HQ, Madison, WI When: Friday, May 31st, 2013 How: Recorded by Kayla Liederbach File: mp3 version